Want to be a better parent?
Maybe you’re seeking parenting help with:
- parenting tips
- guidance and advice
- new baby
- understanding the ages and stages of child development
- single parenting
- solutions for problem behaviors in your child
- appropriate discipline guidance
- co-parenting or step-parenting
- helping children cope with divorce or adjust to a new blended family
- parenting teenagers and adolescents
- healing from your own experience of poor parenting
If so, welcome — I’d like to help. One advantage we all have as we navigate the process of being parents is that we were all children once upon a time. If we are tuned in emotionally we can remember how it felt to be a child, and this can positively inform the way we parent our own children. Role Models vs. Cautionary Tales Now, some people’s parents serve as stellar role models. Children of effective parents receive an adequate amount of guidance, empathy and love in childhood. They are also allowed an optimal level of frustration if their parents care for them in a balanced manner. This allows them to grow up and function in a frustrating world with confidence and without becoming too overwhelmed when they meet obstacles along the way. The experience of empathy and love received by the children of effective parents enables them to trust, to have healthy self-esteem and to give and receive love. Having such a solid foundation they are well-prepared to leave the nest, to become their own people in the world. That’s how it works when things go well. Other parents’ parenting, however, falls more in the category of the “cautionary tale” — serving as an example of how not to raise a child. Parents who are distracted by personal problems such as life stressors, illness, addiction, or emotional blocks which prevent them from connecting well to their children on an emotional level can foster a legacy of similar issues within their children. Children of less effective parents may spend their childhoods confused, wondering if they are loved — possibly fantasizing about an idealized parent who will some day rescue them. That kind of experience — as well as the experience of actual abandonment by a parent — can set the stage for insecure attachments and self-doubt. Be Proactive: Reach Out While many factors can get in the way of being the parent you want to be, it’s important not to get stuck in guilt and self-blame. We all make mistakes and there are no “perfect parents.” All parents learn on the job! Instead, it’s more productive and helpful to reach out proactively and ask for help when you need support and information. The fact that you are reading this page suggests that you have a healthy level of concern and anxiety about your role as a parent and how it is impacting your child. Perhaps becoming the best parent you can be means simultaneously healing your own childhood wounds. You’re not alone: Many people are prompted to come to therapy and counseling out of love for their children and a desire to break the generational cycle of poor parenting. How I Can Help Let’s talk about what’s going on in your family. Even if you have some issues with parenting it’s likely that you’re doing a lot of things right. Let’s strategize together to build on your strengths as a parent to resolve your concerns and to create the happy family life that you seek.